Penguins captain Sidney Crosby could be back in the lineup when Pittsburgh opens the playoffs next week, according to a report in the Post-Gazette.
Crosby, who has not played since his jaw was fractured by a deflected shot March 30, is expected to seek medical clearance today or Friday to resume playing.
If that’s given, he would not return to the lineup for the Penguins’ game at New Jersey tonight or the regular-season finale Saturday against Carolina at Consol Energy Center, but dressing for Game 1 of the playoffs is not out of the question at this point.
Although the playoff schedule won’t be released for several days, the Penguins will open at home, almost certainly on Wednesday.
In addition to undergoing the examination to determine how well his jaw is healing, Crosby could be facing extensive dental work in the next few days.
With 56 points in 36 games, Crosby was the runaway leading candidate to win the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy before he was injured.
After making the Wild out of training camp, Tyler Graovac got some bad news on Tuesday — head coach Mike Yeo said Graovac would miss the next 2-3 weeks with a groin strain.
Graovac, 22, played just under 14 minutes in Minnesota’s crazy 5-4 comeback win over Colorado in the season-opener, but sat out Saturday’s win over St. Louis.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Graovac was a notable physical presence in the Wild lineup, and is an intriguing prospect — he impressed with AHL Iowa last year, scoring 21 goals and 46 points in 73 games.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.